Wednesday, September 28, 2005
It Is Done
At 15:11 today, Wednesday the 28th of September I submitted my doctoral thesis.

go me!

The Day Today
I slept last night.

I know that's not normally worthy of posting about, but this is now my third thesis, and this is the first time I've slept the day before I submit. That's how on top of things I've been this time around. Just the last final checks to make...then close......

Monday, September 26, 2005
Two Minute Warning
Ok, so it's more like two days, but this is it: the final Final FINAL push. I'm really getting near the end now and although there is plenty to do I'm feeling really good about it. I submit on Wednesday, but I'm not panicking, I'm not worried...its gone well so far and it continues to go well. I am very proud of my work in these past months. I'm very impressed with how my thesis is coming out. A good page count, good word count, plenty of tables and graphs...lovely.

Monday, September 19, 2005
Women Blog More
I've been promising some sort of discussion of results for so long, so here you are: women blog more than men.

Now, you can claim you already knew that all you like, the point of much research is to scientifically prove what has already been observed, and I feel I've done that. Here's a sneak preview of a section of my thesis:
Diaries are most predominantly kept by females (Thompson, 1982; Burt, 1994) and it has previously been suggested that the majority of bloggers are teenage girls (Orlowski, 2003). A previous study (Herring et al., 2004) found that while each gender accounts for about half of all weblogs, blogs are in fact dominated by females of teen age and preferred by females in general.
Note the distinction between ALL weblogs, and purely personal blogs. My study is just of the latter, and indeed I am only concerend with post that could be described as personal. I have therefore excluded all "Which X are you" quizzes, all Friday Fives, no song lyrics, nothing except for bloggers personal lives, thoughts, and opinions.

Indeed I have found that two thirds of my subjects are female. Not only that, but examining one whole month of every subjects blog has revealed a number of differences, presented here in easy sound bite form:
  • Women write more than men (statistically significant)

  • Women write more personal posts than men (statistically significant)

  • Women write longer personal posts than men
And you can quote me on that. (if you are interested in more specific details, or references, drop me a mail.)

Friday, September 16, 2005
Why Do YOU Blog
Well, I guess I don't need to make excuses for not posting...I have less than two weeks left and I am very busy. I worked from home yesterday ... which I know for many people is just an excuse to slack off ... and I got so much done. Not having high-speed internet access is so less distracting. No emails to reply to, no news to check up on, etc.

It really is very tiring. I'm working more each day, seeing my wife for less...that's the hardest part. Even though we are technically in the same place...I miss her...I know it's only for a couple more weeks though.

Writing is going well. I'm writing, revising, rechecking things, all those last minute tasks for a thesis. I haven't actually put it all together yet. I know it's going to look good and be a whole lot of pages, so I'm saving it for when I really need a boost.


In other news, it has been brought to my attention (thanks CT) that there is a recently completed Masters project by a girl at Northwestern University on why people blog.

I'm very sad to say that I don't really have time to read such an impressive looking piece of work at the moment (although I may always slip in its first citation) but it certainly looks interesting.

Of most interest to me are the gender differences:
Men claim higher approval of information motivation while women endorse self-documentation, self-expression, and passing time more.
As you know (or may not) part of my thesis is gender differences in the language of blogs. It would be interesting to see how motivation differences are reflected in language. So far I have found a number of traditional gender differences, but maybe motivation can explain others. What was that link again?

Friday, September 09, 2005
Writing to reach you
So today I figured I would let you all know how the writing is going. hopefully over the weekend I can get something down regarding some results, because I know that's really what you want to read. (If there is anything specific you want to know, you can always ask.)

So it seems to be going really well. I have various sections evolving together, I'm making changes, restructuring, re-writing, editing, adding, creating, really can see the thesis so much better the more of it you get done. I beleive they call it taking shape.

My office mate Continuity Boy says that he doesn't mind writing, but really doesn't like revising. I'm not too good with the writing, with it taking time for any words to hit the page, but when I revise things they are much more polished and I'm much happier with them.

I wish I knew that sooner. I never used to read over things at school or as an undergraduate. It turns out, the small amount of time you spend looking over something can not only correct many mistakes, but make the work a whole lot better.

As an example, let me read over this post..., certainly a couple of mistakes, a few re-written phrases...much better. Not that you can tell...that's the magic of editing.

One of my main problems is long sentences with excessive use of commas. Both my wife and supervisor have often pointed this out to me. So reading over things I've learned both be sparing with commas and notcie when a sentence can be split in twain.

- or -

Reading over things I've learnt to see when a sentence can be split in two. I've also tried to cut back on my commas.

It doesn't always work I'm sure, and I'm not perfect but I'm trying. In summary then, things are going well.

Thursday, September 01, 2005
It's the Final Countdown

No, I'm not heading for Venus, but I really am in the final stage of my PhD. No really, it's only 4 weeks until I plan to submit. Sometimes it seems so much time, because I'm so on top of everything. Other times, not so much. 4 weeks. It's been 4 years or hard graft, and it'll be over in 4 weeks.

I mean not really over obviously. There'll be a wait, a viva, some bits and pieces to attend to. But still...this is it. This is what I've been building to for so long. Wow.

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